Boys Hockey Clinches Postseason Berth Against Tough Foe
Defending Division 2 state champion Wilmington is qualified for the postseason, and remains in the Super 8 conversation following a 1-0 win over Winchester on Saturday.
It doesn't surprise many that the Wilmington boys hockey team is playoff bound. But for the Wildcats, it's the first step in what they hope will become another memorable season.
Thanks to a 1-0 victory on Saturday in a stern test against Winchester, head coach Steve Scanlon's charges pushed their record to 11-2-0 on the year, 9-1-0 in Middlesex League play, and snagged a spot in the playoffs with plenty of regular season still to go.
“We wanted to get a seat in the tournament so getting the result was what we were after,” Scanlon said, according to ESPNBoston.com.
Senior standout Cam Owens scored what turned out to be the only tally of the game with 8:02 left in the game, breaking a scoreless tie. According to the website, it was Owens' 135th career goal, which tied the school record set by his brother.
Wilmington remains right in the thick of things as it hopes to snag a spot in the Super 8 tournament, which is normally made up of all Division 1 teams. According to the Boston Herald, a Division 2 team has not made the bracket since Tewksbury did in 1996.
The Wildcats have lost just twice this year. One setback came in the team's season opener as they played without an injured Owens, and the second loss came against defending Super 8 champion Malden Catholic. Wilmington lost that game, 4-3, but held a lead late in the game.
Scanlon's team still has several difficult games remaining on its schedule, but so far the increased number of strong teams the Wildcats have faced is paying off as the longtime coach hoped it would.
“We know there are high expectations, so we’ve challenged ourselves with a tougher schedule of non-league games to see if we can do even better things,” Scanlon told Patch at the beginning of the season. “We’re on some of the Super 8 watch lists to begin the year. You never know if you don’t try, so we’re shooting a little higher.”